Retail Horror Stories: Revenge Of The Karen

Welp. Welcome back to another installment of Retail Horror Stories. Where we share the best moments you’ll have working in retail. So hang tight! It’s back to Hell!- erg- I mean- back to work! 

So what do we have in store for us today, children? Please welcome to the stage, back by popular demand- put your hands together for the one, the only. . . KAREN! 

When I told you last week that we get Karen’s every day- I wasn’t kidding. But today, this Karen in particular was a special one. When you deny a Karen, you get the usual attitude and request for the manager. But when you get a special Karen, you’re in for an extra treat!

As we shared in our last story, working in BedBath&Bullshit we have a strict return policy. Karen comes up to return two coasters and a nightlight that requires batteries. Did she have a card or receipt for her returns? Of course not. That would be too easy. So, I offer her a suggestion of taking store credit for the two coasters, but I deny the nightlight. As we have learned before Class, when it comes to electronics, we need a proof of purchase, even for exchanges or store credit.

I kindly explain to Karen that that is our policy but she refuses to accept my answer and tells me: “Well that’s just poor customer service.”

. . . Poor. Customer. Service. You’ve got to be shitting me.  

Karen then proceeds to ask me what position I hold here in BedBath&Bullshit, as if that dictates weather a policy is valid or not. FYI- it doesn’t. Every employee is given knowledge on our return policy. It doesn’t matter if you ask a cashier, me or a manager. Policy is policy.

Right on cue- Karen asks to speak to a manager.

I walk over to tell one of my managers. We both agree that’s policy. I walk back over to the customer service desk and confront Karen again telling her for the 100th time that it is a no for today. She ignores me, turns her back and walks over to my manager…

I see her flailing her arms around, whispering in an angry tone, mumbling words like “poor customer service” and hand gestures pointed towards me. My manager has had enough of her and decided to push through the exchange since it was only $5, as a one time accommodation

Quick note to you Karens out there: Listen carefully. We will not accommodate you every time you complain and whine like a child over five dollars. 

So suck it up, grow up, and shut up. 

You can tell that Karen was out to get me at this point. Giving me a look of “I told you so.” Scoff. I tell her we will do the exchange and asked her if she’d like to grab the item and come back to do the exchange. Of course, as we’ve learned by now- it’s never that easy. Karen tells me- NOT ASKS ME- but tells me,” No. You can get it.”

. . . The audacity of this woman. There’s a special place in retail Hell for people like this. 

I give her a grinned smile as I feel my teeth about to crack and tell her I’ll be back with her item. 

I walk down to Lighting and Furniture, grab her replacement and come back to her. She examines the product like it’s a goddamn gold nugget and tells me,”No… not this one. This one is messed up.”

Not as messed up as her head.

So I give her a grin once more, get yet another nightlight, and I hand it over to her. She examines the new one.

“No this doesn’t turn on all the way. Another one.”

At this point I have had it with Karen. Because I’ve denied her and schooled her on our store policy, she was out to ruin the rest of my day. So I go back, grab a handful of nightlights, come back to Karen, and I poured em all on the counter for her and tell her,”Here. They are all the same. You choose whatever you like.” Giving her a mental “screw you” in my head. 

Karen looks at me, finally chooses one, does the exchange and walks out our store leaving the utter stench of her personality with her. 

Yes, I know I may sound harsh- but that’s retail. You either take shit from the customer or throw the shit back. So Karen, today you might have gotten that small victory, but the war has just begun. . .

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